Protecting online intellectual properties

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Intellectual property (IP) rights extend far more than standard applications, having diversified into the online platform. In the United States, a large number of IP applications are being submitted for online resources. This growth may be attributed to the steady increase of innovations that are being marketed electronically. Intellectual property attorneys are often being sought out for their expertise and advice. These include the development of strategies and compilation of data regarding the steps needed to be taken for an online intellectual property application.

There are three types of IP protection that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers. All three may be used for an online property.

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Patents: These cover both utility and design applications. As their name suggests, patents are granted to an individual who discovers a new or useful process, machine, article, or composition of matter that significantly improves an existing system. The “utility” of the originating model is taken into account and patents are assigned to the innovation. Patents may also be designated for new, original, and ornamental designs.

Trademarks: This form protects words, names, symbols, sounds, and even colors that distinguish a specific product or service from its competitors. Registration with the USPTO is not required but is highly recommended (particularly for online goods).

Copyrights: This type cover all original works of authorship, including dramatic, artistic, and musical works, both published and unpublished.

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Process application for online IP protection can take as little as a few months to as long as a few years, depending on the type of product or service and its originality from competitors. Covering goods with an IP application offers unique advantages – the least of which is theft protection.

Irah Donner is seasoned intellectual property attorney. For more discussions on intellectual property, follow this Google+ page.